The life of a typical college student is a simple one where material possessions are concerned, mainly due to the lack of available space. This year, college sophomore D was very particular about what he took to the dorm. Last year he brought entirely too much (but still way less than other students we observed!) and the clutter in his room drove him nuts. He discovered as he brought unnecessary items home bit by bit that it was so much easier to keep his dorm room clean when he had less stuff to deal with, and there was less to think about.
Food is a little different. Even though he has a meal plan and can eat at the cafeteria (which offers salads, sandwiches, burgers, and different entrees daily) or one of several “restaurants” at the campus food court (all run by Sodexho), D still claims there aren’t enough choices (sigh). He loves to shop for snacks and such, to keep in his room for those times when “there’s just nothing to eat!” Things like Easy Mac, cookies, crackers, bagels, and even turkey pepperoni are among his favorites, and when he’s home (or when we visit him), a visit to the grocery store is always on the agenda.
As you might expect, he’s not the only college student to enjoy dorm snacks. I was amused beyond description on Saturday night to see, en masse, the excitement that college students can generate for things like Cheese Puffs and popcorn.
Casino Night, the most popular event of Parents’ Weekend, was on Saturday evening. We participated last fall and had a great time but had to leave before it was over so we could get home: I had to teach Religious School the next morning. This year, we were able to stick around. Each of the three of us started the evening with $500 in chips and stood at the same blackjack table for two straight hours, winning…and losing…and winning…and losing. In the end, Jim busted, D busted, and I had $2625. (Go me, right?)
After the last hand of the night, we were able to buy raffle tickets with our chips. Everyone gathered around, sitting mostly on the floor, while the events committee started the drawing. A container of Cheese Puffs–the biggest container of them I’ve ever seen–was the first prize to be awarded. The excited shouting from the crowd was hysterical, and only grew larger with each prize on display. There was a jumbo jar of Vlasic pickles, an assortment of chips, a barrel of pretzels, a case of–wait for it–bottled water (!!!), muffins, and all kinds of family-sized, everyday food items that we all must take for granted, because these kids were EATING IT UP (so to speak). As the winning numbers were read, people groaned and shouted things like “No fair!” and other statements I wouldn’t quote here, but it was all in good fun. One boy even tried to claim a prize that wasn’t his, and when he was told that he didn’t have the right number he grinned and said, “Oh, oops, I’m just stupid I guess.” (Nice try.)
The fevered pitch hit a high when the final two prizes of the night–a $200 Amazon gift card and a PS3–were awarded, and as the prize-less college kids threw their unlucky tickets into the air and got up to leave, there were still smiles and high fives all around as the evening of family fun came to an end.
Of course, the leftover free sub sandwiches and cookies from the evening were grabbed and gobbled on the way out, because…free food, you know?